The Village of Wellington wanted input on how it dealt with Tropical Storm Isaac and asked residents to leave their comments at www.wellingtonfl.gov/access-wellington/town-hall.html. I tried to oblige, but like other would-be responders, I was asked to go to the trouble to reconfigure my browser to accept cookies from www.peakdemocracy.com. This sums up why I chose to respond to their request in the first place.
As the water was rising ominously on Monday afternoon [Aug. 27] toward my home on Lake Wellington, I tried in vain to reach a human being at the village offices by calling (561) 791-4000 for information. After listening to pre-recorded messages for half an hour, I gave up and called the non-emergency number for the police station, and the dispatcher kindly told me that the pumps were working at maximum capacity and that two emergency pumps had been activated to drain the lake. Then he wished me good luck.
I know that the village offered updates on flooded roadways on its web site, but many homeowners lost their power and could not access the latest advisories by computer or television. Almost all of us were in that situation with hurricanes Frances, Jeanne and Wilma. And many of the most vulnerable, chiefly the elderly, do not even own a computer.
There is no excuse for not having a team of emergency-trained volunteers manning village phone lines (when power permits) to answer questions, provide the latest information and help deal with crises arising in individual homes or whole neighborhoods. And we should not need to configure our browsers to accept cookies from www.peakdemocracy.com just to express our concerns or offer constructive criticism after the fact. I don’t know about you, but I prefer my cookies with chocolate chips and my village offices with human operators in an emergency.
Dr. Alec Pridgeon